Saturday, July 22, 2017

Plitvice National Park - A hike to remember!

As someone who is not completely independent physically, Plitvice was never meant for me. That's a harsh line to start with, but that's how it is. Although I was completely in awe of Dubrovnik in the south and taken by the beauty of Plitvice National Park, I had several lows during this vacation which continue to haunt me. I was obviously questioning myself continuously - how can I not like a vacation? And so I tried to have the best time that was possible. Writing about it, well, not so easy!

You see it was not the location's fault. Plitvice National Park has 16 waterfalls and several small ones. One of the most beautiful ones lets you feel its mist when you pass by it. It is no Niagara falls, but here you are on foot and you can stay as long as you like. 

The mountains around it gives the National Park the most beautiful views. You can choose from several routes depending on your ability to walk and hike. I did my research really well. I spent hours over the Internet reading how this area was for elderly. It was not wheelchair accessible so that should have been my first clue about the effort it takes to walk around - I ignored it.

We took the most downhill walk - Route E for Upper lakes on Day 1. We started at 4.30 in the evening so that there are fewer crowds - it was ideal. We stopped a hundred times - I did! We took in all the love nature had to give us. It even rained a bit while we were walking. We were literally walking above the falls and lakes which is so rare in this world.

The most beautiful moment for me - where I could feel the mist.

I am a nature lover. I love to get lost amongst the trees even if there are just 5 of them. So Plitvice was high on my priority list. Croatia is not the richest country out there yet they have tried to maintain this place in all its natural form. There were paths that were uneven clogged by small stones. The wooden tracks were really well-maintained. But there were far too many steps for me. I have never climbed this many in a single day in my entire life. It was hard - very hard, especially at the end. 

I hardy took any pictures and I couldn't do the Lower Lakes the next day because I thought that my body won't be able to take it. Wise decision! 

At the end I was pleased with myself. This route takes 2.5 hours at max, I took 5. But I did it. It was like running a marathon for me. Or climbing Everest. Really, it was! I have to give it to the Boy, I can't imagine anyone else with the amount of patience and love he has. He was there - at every step, every climb, every resting spot - with a smile on his face and a joke to make me laugh. Have I told you he is an angel?

Howeverrrrr, being proud is not good enough! This hike took a toll on my body and my muscles are yet to recover from the fatigue even after 3 weeks. My only fear is what if they don't recover and I have this new low for life? I am trying to do all that is in my capacity to get back to normal - including wining, dining, dancing, laughing and standing on one leg.

I still don't blame the lakes, I don't even blame my health for how I am feeling. I love this beautiful life in all its glory. And I love the fact that I am strong in the mind and happy in my soul. I am grateful for the capacity to travel and I am thankful for having the most patient and most giving partner. Is there anything else we need in life? 

P.S. Since I am not the right person to give tips on these lakes, I would refrain from giving you any. To anyone else who is normal physically - do make an overnight trip to Plitvice Jezera. Do half of it after 4 and the other half at 8 in the morning. The paths are really narrow, and the crowds are humongous. You will love the space and time you get in the evening. Don't make a day trip - that's so boring!

1 comment:

Your sweetness makes my day. Gentle criticism will be taken in the right spirit too :)